Reds climb back to .500 behind Adleman

Reds climb back to .500 behind Adleman

CINCINNATI -- As Tim Adleman gave the Reds a much-needed quality start with six innings, Joey Votto and Adam Duvall divided the work evenly to back him. Votto and Duvall each notched two hits and two RBIs during the Reds' 4-2 victory over the Pirates on Thursday at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati claimed three of four games in the series to climb back to .500 at 14-14.

Pirates starter Ivan Nova, the National League's Pitcher of the Month for April, retired nine of his first 10 batters until the Reds came alive in the fourth inning. Jose Peraza hit a leadoff single and scored on Votto's RBI double to the gap in left-center field. Votto scored on Duvall's RBI single before Duvall was thrown out at second base trying for a double.

Nova grinds through 6, but gets little run support

Votto added another RBI double in the fifth inning, and Duvall drove him in again with his RBI triple to left field. Nova gave up four earned runs and 10 hits over six innings with no walks and five strikeouts.

Votto's RBI double in the 4th

"They have a really good lineup. You've got to make good pitches against them," Nova said. "If you don't make pitches, you're going to get hit. It's the second time I've given up four runs against them. I've got to do something different next time out."

'Pen, power helping Reds stay in thick of Central

Adleman's six innings included two earned runs, six hits, one walk and five strikeouts. In the top of the second inning, the Pirates took a 1-0 lead on Gift Ngoepe's hard-lined one-out double to right-center field that scored Francisco Cervelli. Cervelli returned in the sixth with a two-out RBI double that brought home Josh Bell.

"[Adleman] is a strike thrower. It's a pleasure to catch," Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said. "Today, three pitches for strikes. With the exception of that last inning where he kind of got into a little bit of a jam and got out of it, I think he had 65 pitches going into the sixth inning and ended up throwing [88]. Put him out there, and you have to be on your toes because you know he's going to throw strikes. You know he's going to come at you right away. It's impressive."

Price on win over Pittsburgh

Michael Lorenzen followed Adleman with two perfect innings. Raisel Iglesias tackled the top of the ninth and escaped after a leadoff single for his fifth save. Cincinnati is 6-1 this season vs. Pittsburgh.

"We always have good competitions, and they've been so good the last five or six years in the division," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We've played good ball in the two series, the one in Pittsburgh and the one here. We've faced some of their tough pitching -- in particular with Nova, who has been excellent, and [Jameson] Taillon. They've got a nice staff. To come out and take the three out of four is great."

Scored on a bad wheel: Not to be overlooked on Ngoepe's RBI double was that Cervelli raced home and scored from first base. He had missed the previous four games with right foot discomfort and resisted going on the disabled list. Cervelli has reached safely in 18 of his 20 starts this season. More >

"Run pretty well, no. I felt like I had a piano behind me," Cervelli said. "But if I'm able to score, that's enough. … I like to be there every day. That's my mentality every year. Sometimes we can't, but yeah, I'm happy to be back and help the team the most I can."

Ngoepe drives in Cervelli

200 steals: In the bottom of the fifth inning for the Reds, Billy Hamilton swiped second base, and it gave him 200 steals for his career. Hamilton reached 200 stolen bases in the fourth-fewest number of games (424). According to the Elias Sports Bureau records going back to 1900, Vince Coleman did it in 280 games, followed by Tim Raines (361) and Rickey Henderson (366). More >

"It means a lot to be up there with the greatest people in stolen bases, but it's something you've got to keep moving forward and keep getting more. There's a long way to go to get the [all-time] record," said Hamilton, referring to Henderson's record 1,406 career steals.

Hamilton's 200th stolen base

Nova has made 17 straight starts with one walk or fewer, dating back to his first start with the Pirates last Aug. 6. That ties him with former Pirate Babe Adams, who set a team record with 17 consecutive outings with one walk or fewer from July 1, 1922-May 7, 1923.

With a man on first and one out in the ninth, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle opted to pinch-hit for second baseman Alen Hanson and shortstop Gift Ngoepe with Jose Osuna and Elias Diaz, respectively. Osuna lined into a force out, and Diaz went down on a called third strike.

The moment was a testament to the way the Pirates' depth has been tested and stretched thin; Ngoepe, Osuna and Diaz weren't on the Opening Day roster, and Hanson was the last position player to make the club. With Starling Marte suspended, Jung Ho Kang on the restricted list and both David Freese and Adam Frazier injured, the Pirates had to turn to a pair of rookies with the game on the line.

"That's what happens when you continue to pull from your depth. It changes the direction and the landscape of your bench a little bit," Hurdle said. "However, both of those guys have the ability to pump a ball out of the ballpark. We wanted to tie it up. They just used their two best relievers. We felt if we could tie it, we could go on from there."

Hurdle on 4-2 loss to Reds

Pirates: The Pirates will return home for a three-game series against the Brewers at PNC Park. Right-hander Chad Kuhl, who exited his last start early after being struck in the right knee by a comebacker, will pitch the 7:05 p.m. ET opener on Friday against Milwaukee right-hander Jimmy Nelson.

Reds: The homestand will continue when the Reds host the Giants in the first of three games at 6:40 p.m. ET Friday. Bronson Arroyo, who threw a season-high 87 pitches but only four-plus innings vs. the Cardinals on Sunday, will be back on the mound looking to get deeper into the game. Arroyo has pitched six innings twice this season, and Cincinnati has won each of the last three games he has started.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.